THE BREAD OF LIFE CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY
by Deacon Ken and Marie Finn
BEFORE YOU BEGIN:
Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.
“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.” (JOHN 14:26)
FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.
1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?
2. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ 1 SAMUEL 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23 FIRST READING
(“The Lord will award each man for his justice and faithfulness.”)
1. Why did Saul go to the desert of Ziph, and with whom did he go? 1 Samuel 26:2
2. When and where did David and Abishai go, who did they find sleeping, and how did they find him? 1 Samuel 26:7
3. Who surrounds you? Psalm 125:2
4. What did Abishai say to David? 1 Samuel 26:8
5. What came over Saul, and what did Saul do to David? 1 Samuel 18:10-11
6. What did David say to Abishai about the Lord’s anointed? 1 Samuel 26:9
7. What does his anointing do for you? 1 John 2:27
8. What did David do, what did the Lord do to those sleeping, and where did David go? 1 Samuel 26:12-13
9. What did David say about the king’s spear, and for what did he say the Lord will reward them? 1 Samuel 6:22-23
10. What does the Lord love, and what are the works of his hands? Psalm 33:5 and Psalm 111:7
Personal – How has the anointing that you received in baptism helped you in your times of temptation?
THIRD DAY READ 1 CORINTHIANS 15:45-49 SECOND READING
(“…we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.”)
1. What is written about the first Adam and the last Adam? 1 Corinthians 15:45
2. How did the first Adam become a living being, and who gives life to whomever he wishes? Genesis 2:7 and John 5:21
3. What was not first? 1 Corinthians 15:46
4. How is our body sown and raised? 1 Corinthians 15:44
5. From where was the first man, and from where was the second? 1 Corinthians 15:47
6. Who is the One who came down from heaven? John 3:13
7. Who are the earthly and who are the heavenly? 1 Cor. 15:48
8. What does the Lord Jesus do to our body? Philippians 3:19-21
9. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, whose image shall we also bear? 1 Corinthians 15:49, Romans 8:29
10. How do you bear the image of the heavenly one? Ephesians 5:1-2
Personal – In what way do you see yourself changed from an earthly being to a spiritual being? What characteristic changes took place in you?
FOURTH DAY READ LUKE 6:27-38 GOSPEL
(“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”)
1. Who did Jesus say to love, and to whom did he say to be good? Luke 6:27
2. For whom does Jesus say to bless and pray? Luke 6:28
3. What was said before, and what is Jesus saying now? Matthew 5:43-44
4. What are you to do when someone strikes you on the right cheek, takes your cloak, and asks for something? Luke 6:29-30
Personal – When someone has hurt you, what is your response?
5. What are we to do to others, who do even sinners love, and do good to? Luke 6:31-33
6. What were you called to inherit? 1 Peter 3:9
7. How should you lend money, what will be your reward, and what will you be called? Luke 6:34-35
8. Who is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked, and why should you be merciful? Luke 6:35-36
Personal – List how many things you gave away this past week for which you knew you would not be repaid?
9. What will happen if you stop judging and condemning, and if you forgive? Luke 6:37
10. What virtue triumphs over judgment? James 2:13
11. If you give, what will be given you, and what will be measured out to you? Luke 6:38
Personal – What are some of the gifts you have received for giving something away? In what way have you made judgments on others, and what do you need to do to repair the damage?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13
(“He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13.
What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?
How can you apply this to your life?
SIXTH DAY READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY
1 SAMUEL 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23
Today’s reading reveals the conscience of David. David knew that Saul was hunting him so that he could kill him. He caught King Saul by surprise and, even though David was a professional warrior, he knew that Saul was chosen by God, and David had no right to kill him.
David wrote Psalm 51, and in this psalm, it gives us an insight into the depths of his character. He knew that God wants a contrite heart, and he knew that he would suffer miserable guilt if he killed Saul. David and his aide showed great courage and David displayed the discipline of self-control that prevented his aide from killing King Saul. David’s aide respected David’s loyalty to authority and became one of David’s most loyal and powerful warriors in his army. David was determined to follow God, and this carried over into his decision not to murder God’s anointed king.
Today there is a drastic loss of respect for authority in our lands because there is a loss of reverence and fear of God himself. We see even today that the strongest moral decisions we make are the ones we make before temptation strikes. Who would you have been like in such a situation? Would you have been like David or David’s men? When you decide to follow God, you must realize that you cannot do wrongful things in order to execute justice. Even when your closest friends might encourage you to take a certain action that seems to be right, you must always remember to put God’s commands first. David did not kill Saul because God had placed Saul in power, and David did not want to run ahead of God’s timing. David left Saul’s destiny in God’s hands.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:45-49
In today’s reading, Paul is talking not about verifiable matters of fact, but about matters of faith. Today we have believers who still ask, what kind of a body do people have when they rise again? Paul tells us that a seed is put into the ground, dies, and in due time rises again with a different kind of body. It is still the same seed, but it has gone through stages of development. In life there is development.
The first man was made from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7), but Jesus is the incarnation of the very Spirit of God. We share under the old way of life the sin of Adam, dying like him, and having a body like him. However, we share in the new life under Christ — his life and his being. We now have a physical body, but one day we shall have a spiritual body. Our present body is corruptible, and our future body will be incorruptible. Our present body is a natural body, and our future body will be a spiritual body. In the future the Holy Spirit will be able to fill us completely, and then we will be able to worship and love Almighty God completely, which for now can only be a vision and a dream enveloped in the mystery of faith.
When Christ rose from the dead, he entered into a new form of existence. Christ’s new glorified human body suits his new glorified life. We see this as Adam’s human body was suitable to his natural life. When we, who are believers of Jesus Christ, die, God will give us a new and glorified body suited to eternal life.
Jesus makes known, very strongly in this reading, that love is a decision and not some sentimental sloppy emotion. He tells us that anyone can love someone who is easy to love or who in turn loves us back. He goes on to say that even pagans love their families and friends. He even states that anyone can love under those kinds of situations. Jesus ask for something more than a sentimental yes, he calls for a decision, a decision to love.
Jesus was well aware of the oppression of the Jewish people by the Romans. But he told the people to love their enemies. This kind of talk and teachings turned many people away from him. He was not talking about feelings, but about the use of our will. Jesus’ teachings are about an act of love which is really an act of the will. We make a choice to love someone with our mind. We also make a choice to forgive someone with our mind.
The Greeks distinguished between three different types of love in the world at the time of Christ, and this still is true today. They are: 1, Eros – a natural love of man for a woman; 2, Philo – a love for relative or friend; and 3, Agape – a love that only builds up the other person with no expectation for any kind of response. This Agape-type of love is what Jesus was calling for as the type of love that he has extended to us.
Jesus died for all of us knowing quite well that many people could have cared less about him. He died for us knowing that many were sinning while he was dying for us and would be sinners long after he died. He knew first-hand what it meant to love those who hate, persecute, and even put you to death. He asks us to do nothing that he has not done, and he tells us that he will give us the power to love like this through his Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). His message today is for all the world just as it was then, and that message is to “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34).
The first reading tells us that the destiny of all people is in God’s protective hands. The second reading explains how our present body is a natural body, and our future body will be a spiritual body. The Gospel reveals that love is a decision, not a feeling.
This week take inventory of yourself and see who is NOT getting your love. Look at members of your family, then your relatives, and then your work or school associates. Make a decision to love and make a decision to forgive. You might begin this inventory and decision making by first getting down on your knees and confessing to God your own sins. Then listen to him as he discerns your inventory and puts it in proper order. Ask the Holy Spirit to clear all of the “stinking thinking” out of your head as you get ready to decide to love all, even your enemies.